National Burger Month Day 19: Barbecue Pork Burger with Cornbread

Trader Joe's saves the day. We had a burger emergency last night. I was planning to make corn bread from scratch but as I took my baking goods out of the cupboards last night, I discovered that my all-purpose flour and my cornmeal were infested by mealworms! (shock and dismay!) We bake somewhat frequently in the house, so how the mealworms got in there, I don't know. Admittedly, the cornmeal and the all-purpose flour were the only bags of grain in the cupboard not in a glass jar or not in a giant ziploc bag. We ended up trashing most of the contents in our baking cupboard out of gross-out-by-association paranoia and I have resolved to purchase more glass canisters with which to store flour, cornmeal, etc. Unfortunately, this meant that my cornbread plans had to change. I hopped in my car and made a beeline for Trader Joe's. They didn't have cornmeal so my first concession to ready-to-cook boxed mixes happened tonight. TJ's makes a cornbread mix, and it was pretty good. And the baking time was just enough for us to make the rest of the dinner.

BBQ Pork Burger Bunned in Cornbread

I started with a BBQ sauce that was inspired by Elise Bauer's Pulled Pork Sandwich recipe. My plan called for a similar sauce for marinating ground pork.

In rough amounts, for 3 burgers:
1/2 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 chipotle pepper (canned), minced
2 tsp chipotle chili powder
2 tsp tomato paste
1 tsp mustard
2/3 cup white vinegar
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/4 cup ketchup
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 bay leaf
1 tsp worcestershire sauce

The burgers themselves are made from ground pork (about 3/4 pounds), with salt and pepper tossed in. After forming them into patties, rub them with the barbecue sauce (and if you want to set some aside to pour onto the burgers after they grill, do so before you rub and marinate). Leave the burgers marinating in the sauce for about 30-45 minutes. We grilled the burgers on a medium-hot grill for about 4 1/2 minutes per side.

The resulting burgers were tasty. Since ground pork isn't as lean as beef, these things were juicier. The barbecue sauce was terrific. The cornbread, while not made from scratch, was also a perfect pairing (of course it would be, this was bbq pork). I loved it and I would have eaten more had I not stuffed myself before dinner with my new addiction, Dark Chocolate Covered Joe-Joes cookies from Trader Joe's. John respectfully abstained from the pork because he is training to be an ascetic.

Said Andrea to her burger, "So sweet, so spicy, so porky."